Superstition and my belief

Superstition is a pejorative term for belief in supernatural causality: that one event leads to the cause of another without any natural process linking the two events, such as astrology, religion, omens, witchcraft, etc., that contradicts natural science.

I am not highly superstitious but out of habit I am sure I do somethings that can be classified as superstitious like crossing my fingers for good luck or knocking on wood .

I know science is the key to the modern world but the fact remains that one can’t be free from superstitions. At times, even not believing in superstition could be based on superstition. I have talked about superstitions like Friday the 13th before in my post and we from time to time hear some weird superstition people believe in but today I would like to talk about the extremes people go to believing in these superstitions, that it is not healthy or logical to follow them.

In today’s scientific world, it is necessary that we do not blindly follow all the superstitions that were handed down to us by our ancestors. We are modern, both in our outlook and the age we are in. Therefore we should have a judicious look for some logical reason behind every superstition before accepting it. In Nepal there are many superstitions, which I believe had logic behind them in olden days.

No umbrellas inside

If you open, an umbrella inside you could poke someone’s eye out. If the umbrella is wet, then you are making mess inside.

Don’t sweep the house after sun set

It is logical as well as in olden days, they don’t have electricity so sweeping the house after sunset, you may not see the valuables on the floor and you may throw them out.

Women with period can’t do housework

In olden days, they didn’t have sanitary pads so women with period were considered dirty. Also women’s body is considerably weak during these time so it makes sense for them not to do too many things around the house due to hygienic reasons as well as so they can rest.

But there are many superstitions I don’t believe in like Bird Droppings on Your Head will bring you a good luck. No way, it will ruin my hair and I need a shower and that can’t be good luck in any form. A cat crossing one’s path will bring bad luck. In Sydney, many people have cats as pets that there will be some cats crossing your road every now and then so we can’t avoid it

There are many other Nepalese superstition that I don’t find logic in like:

  • The sound of a crow near the surroundings or on somebody’s home forecasts the arriving of guests.
  • A dog wailing nearby a sick person’s region forecasts his death or poor fate.
  • There are a lot of beliefs related with beginning a travel. Sneezing or words of dissuasion suchlike “stop, do not go”, or “Why are you going? or “You shouldn’t go” used by chance by somebody at this important time are ominous things and a person should begin later if this befalls.
  • Every day living is also regulated by do’s and don’ts for different days in a week.
    • Monday – shouldn’t buy new clothes
    • Tuesday – if you’re going out of town on Tuesday, you shouldn’t come back on Saturday
    • Wednesday – you shouldn’t buy cooking oil
    • Thursday – if you are a woman who’s not a widow, you shouldn’t wash your hair
    • Friday – you shouldn’t eat meat
    • Saturday – if you went out of town on Tuesday, you shouldn’t come back on Saturday
    • Sunday – if you leave the house together as a trio, you shouldn’t be going your separate ways to separate places
    • Any day – if you are going on a travel, do not clean, shower, do the laundry, or take stuff out to not bring it back
  • Whenever there is itchiness in the palm of the right hand, it signifies luck and coming of money and the inverse holds for the left hand. This refers simply to the clean (right) and dirty (left) portions of the body.
  • Ironically, quivering of the right eye lid is believed to be unfortunate and the blinking of the left eyelid is considered to be fortunate.
  • If you have a bad dream, don’t mention it to anyone. Instead, when you go to the restroom, say whatever you saw in the dream out loud and it will be flushed off too.
  • Seeing your teeth falling in your dreams is a bad omen.
  • If you see someone dying in your dreams, that person will have a long life.
  • If you give someone a handkerchief, you will be separated from that person.
  • Ladies with small feet are thought to bring good luck wherever they go. (‘Lachhin’)
  • If you see slippers or shoes turned upside down, it’s bad luck so you should right it immediately.
  • If a crow crows near your window, you will hear bad news soon.
  • Don’t play with fire or you’ll urinate in bed while sleeping.
  • If you touch your neck with your fingers, you have to blow a puff of air on your fingers or else you’ll get a throat disease.
  • If you unknowingly wear your clothes inside out, it brings good luck.
  • Don’t lick cooking and serving spoons otherwise it will rain during your wedding. Either I or AS must have done it as it rained heavily during our wedding 🙂

I think people should believe in some logical superstition but as the times change, we should change as well like Don’t sweep the house after sun set would not be logical now as we have electricity. I am talking about all this because I know many educated people around me who follow this superstition and I wonder what they are thinking. Here are some examples.

  • Someone I know broke up a relationship because a priest told him that if he marries that girl (his girlfriend of 3 years), he will die soon.
  • Someone I know didn’t apply for a job for 2 weeks because a priest gave he a date and time to start applying for jobs. For me, it sounds so stupid because the later he applies the later he will get response and it will delay the whole process.
  • Someone I know always asks the priest for auspicious time to do everything that he even asked him what time he should leave home to go to the airport to board an international flight. The priest gave him the time that was only 2 hours before his flight. Normally, it is a bit late because if you are caught in traffic, say goodbye to the flight but this person still followed the instruction.
  • Someone I know didn’t buy his dream home just because the door was not facing the direction the priest had told him it should.
  • I know someone who eats yogurt (believed to be auspicious) before starting any good things like going for job interview or going for exam. My question is if I don’t study for any exam and I just eat yogurt before the exam then will I pass?
  • I know someone who never directly gives a knife or raw chilli to a person’s hand. She believes that it will bring bad luck in their relationship.

I personally believe that some of the superstitions are important and necessary but a majority of them are unwanted and are based on useless stuffs. One can believe and practice superstitions but excess of anything is harmful.

Do you believe in any superstition? Please share your experience.

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26 responses to “Superstition and my belief

  1. I was grown up with no umbrellas open inside, don’t walk underneath a ladder, don’t put new shoes on a table and for pregnant woman; don’t raise your arms above your head!!

  2. We returned celebrating dashain in my paternal home ( Maaiti) on Saturday and was stuck in a mild accident . I call it mild coz It didn’t harm us luckily. But you can guess what it stirred up in my home in Kathmandu !! We will probably never travel on Saturdays now onwards as we aren’t allowed now 🙂 some superstitions will be changed gradually over the generations .

  3. Har… there are superstitions, and then there is OCD. Sometimes the two mix, and then uh oh.

  4. There are other beliefs according to the position of the moon.
    1. Like, you can’t leave your home on next day after full moon.
    2. The day before New moon day (Chaturdashi), you shouldn’t let others keep your household items, even utensils like plates / spoons.
    3. And then, if you step over spilled rice on the floor, you will have a bad dream..

  5. absolutely love this. I think lot of things made sense back in the days and there was a logic but now its not practical. With all that being said, I have turn the slippers/shoes and prefer not to cross/drive if i see a black cat crossing the road. I think since we have been told about these things, its ingrained in our head.

    • I know what you mean. Hearing then for many years had made our brain act in instinct. I do the same with slippers/shoes and I laugh when I realise what I did. But I have no choice with black cat crossing the road as it happens almost everyday here. 🙂

  6. Many things are so similar in our superstitions as well like the crow crying, the palm itching, overturned slippers, do not pray on when your menstruating, eating curd, black cats, in addition we have things like when you are setting out on a good journey then you shouldn’t turn back, the first person you see on your way out in the morning will affect your day, the last person you see before you give birth- your baby will have traits/resemblance to that, don’t step on fallen hair- your hair won’t grow, no good things like starting a new job, buying a car etc should happen on a sunday.. apparently wednesday is a good day.. and the whole auspicious date for marriage, for house warming, for inaugurating.. its just too much!

    Some things are done out of habit, like I always turn overturned slippers but I have no idea why? And I touchwood (or hair) whenever I talk of something nice.. mommy says talk to running water when you see a bad dream or it translates into reality. LOL

    This was a fun post.. but nothing really applies to real life. Dad says its what you believe that happens.. you attract energy negative or positive with your belief. Ghosts exist if your conscience believes it, otherwise its a shadow of a tree. 🙂

  7. I don’t know if this was a superstition or considered as fact, but I was born completely bald and later grew really fine, red/brown hair. Up until I was 6 or 7, my mom kept getting my head shaved hoping that thick black hair would grow out instead of red/brown hair. So in all my childhood pictures, I look like a boy in a pink dress!

    Needless to say while my hair did darken with age (which would have happened even if they didn’t keep shaving my head), I still have fine/thin stranded hair that’s brown and not black.

    • I have heard about that all the time too. I did some research as well but I couldn’t find the connection. The only explanation that was logical was, when you have medium or long hair, due to breakage, the end of the hair will be thin compare to the root of the hair. Once you saved the hair and the hair started growing again, people feel that it is thicker as they are looking at the short hair near the root.

      Glad you have good hair now. I have also got fine, brown, thin hair and I tried everything to get it better with no good result. So I have given up now and accepted the fact that I have thin hair 🙂

  8. Some of the points are hilarious, saying that I could try to find some logic in few. For example buying a house with door facing a certain direction, it can be Vaastu or Feng Sui both of which are ancient methods based on position of sun to bring natural sunlight into the house, direction of wind to cool the house naturally and so on…basically these are not superstitions but science and its upto the person to follow it…its like we take the pills that doctors provide without knowing how it works inside our body but we know it makes certain illness go away. Another point is yoghurt, it is good for digestion and whenever we are nervous, traveling our stomach can be sensitive, i suppose the logic behind yoghurt was to calm the stomach.

    But breaking up coz some priests says something is ridiculous! Hindu religion is liberal in so many ways, if the guy really wanted to be in that relationship and follow his blind faith, I’m sure there is some remedy the priest could suggest for it as well…like performing certain puja and so on. I know a couple who was in a similar situation, they simply performed one puja to satisfy their parents and got married. In this case your friend is trying to find an excuse to get himself out of the situation!

    • I understand Vaastu and Feng Sui but how much will you take that into consideration. If everything else is 100% great with the house and you are going to but it but then you were told that the house will be bad for you? Would you not buy the place, your dream home? When we bought the place, we didn’t check all that but did the puja afterward 🙂 but that is only us.

      The yogurt explanation makes sense to me now so thanks 🙂

      I was shocked and angry when I heard that for the first time but that may be good thing for the girl. Imagine what he would do to her later listening to all this stupid things. Like you said if he was really into her , he would have found the solution instead of making an excuse.

  9. My nepali mother in law insists that we be very gentle with the baby’s clothes she believes that if we toss them the baby will feel it and get scared since the clothes are part of her even though she is not wearing them. also nothing of the baby’s must be placed on the floor

    • I am not aware of this one but I can’t make sense of the part not to toss them. I do understand the part when nothing of baby’s should be in the floor due to hygiene reason. Thanks for sharing Miranda 🙂

  10. Is that a Catholic priests? because in Catholic religion, superstitions are a no no.

  11. In Philippines, “Don’t sweep the house after sun set” means you’re sweeping goodluck/ fortune if you do it after sun set.:)

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